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Precocity   Listen
Precocity

noun
1.
Intelligence achieved far ahead of normal developmental schedules.  Synonym: precociousness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Precocity" Quotes from Famous Books



... extravagance and waywardness of his son, now the laird of Abbotsford, had already greatly distressed the father and were to inflict more torturing anxiety and keener suffering as time went on. Walter Lockhart, in his happy, healthy boyhood, did not show the intellectual precocity of his elder brother; but he was a handsome, intelligent, and winning lad, with no foreshadowing of the recklessness of his later years. Mr. Lang, who can speak from knowledge, says: "Could all be known and told, it is not too much to say that Lockhart's fortitude {p.xxxiii} during these ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... time, (1672,) he was twenty-two years of age, and had received an excellent education, and shown considerable military abilities. In consequence of his precocity of talent, his unquestioned patriotism, and the great services which his family had rendered to the state, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces of the republic, and was encouraged to aspire to the office of stadtholder, the highest in the commonwealth. And his power was much ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... gone afield, and there could be no better instance of a successful fugitive and a genuine affinity, no more interesting example of selection—selection of field and subject—operating by that insight which has the precocity and certainty of an instinct. The domicile of Mr. Abbey's genius is the England of the eighteenth century; I should add that the palace of art which he has erected there commands—from the rear, as it were—various charming glimpses of the preceding age. The finest work he has yet done ...
— Picture and Text - 1893 • Henry James

... been corrected and was able to identify the word as the one used by Dora about her rolling-pin. History stood for the hard dull fact, and mystery stood for all that history was not. There were no dates in "mystery:" Mark even at seven years, such was the fate of intelligent precocity, had already had to grapple with a few conspicuous dates in the immense tale of humanity. He knew for instance that William the Conqueror landed in 1066, and that St. Augustine landed in 596, and that Julius Caesar landed, but he could never remember exactly when. The last ...
— The Altar Steps • Compton MacKenzie

... of this kind, discussed in the family, was listened to by George, whose precocity took in the situation well for one so young. Early in life he had a good understanding of Indian character, and of the trouble that might come to the colonists through these savage denizens of the forest. There is good evidence that apprehensions of Indian hostilities filled him with anxiety ...
— From Farm House to the White House • William M. Thayer

... comedy appears in Down with Knavery, a very free and lively adaptation of the Plutus of Aristophanes. There is no doubt that Randolph's work gives the impression of considerable power. At the same time it is fair to remember that the author's life was one very conducive to precocity, inasmuch as he underwent at once the three stimulating influences of an elaborate literary education, of endowed leisure to devote himself to what literary occupations he pleased, and of the emulation caused by literary ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... learn facts without the distraction of critical uncertainty. With this in mind, therefore, a few of his conclusions, picked mostly at random, may be quoted. An important factor in the production of delinquency he finds to lie in the premature appearance of adult sex development—a precocity which he regards as dangerous because it seems to be correlated with a stimulation of sex instinct before adult inhibitions appear. In girls (not in boys) he finds a distinct tendency to general physical over-development as compared with the norm of the same age. In this connection it is striking ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... are quick at rearing a family. It is at most a fortnight since the Rat was laid in the earth; and here already is a vigorous population on the verge of the metamorphosis. Such precocity amazes me. It would seem as though the liquefaction of carrion, deadly to any other stomach, is in this case a food productive of especial energy, which stimulates the organism and accelerates its growth, so that the victuals may be consumed before ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... offspring of respectable laboring people who turned her over, while she was still an infant, to a Mr. and Mrs. Prentice, instructors in physical culture in the public schools, first of St. Louis and later of St. Paul, Minnesota. As a child, and afterwards as a young girl, she exhibited great precocity and a considerable amount of real ability in drawing and in English composition, but her very cleverness and versatility were the means of her becoming much more sophisticated than most young women of her age, with the result that while still in her teens she gave her adopted parents ...
— True Stories of Crime From the District Attorney's Office • Arthur Train

... but her poise and sense of humour won the child's respect. After that first experiment there were no more spasms of howling. Miss Watts never tried to sentimentalize their relationship. She recognized the child's unusual quality, and her precocity. She was at present an unendurable human being, thanks to her bringing up. Her ideas and ideals were servant-made. If she could be brought to see herself as socially an outcast, because of her bad manners, Miss Watts knew it would ...
— The Cricket • Marjorie Cooke

... at Mr. Greene's I wrote my first poem. I certainly exhibited no great precocity of lyrical genius in it, but the reader must remember that I was only a foolish little boy of ten or eleven at the time, and that I showed it to no ...
— Memoirs • Charles Godfrey Leland

... strengthened with her strength; and now her myriad tricks of mischief, caprice and cruelty were too closely identified with what was most bewitching in her not to have become additional charms for us. In those days, while we were still hobbledehoys, she pleased us the more that she had, with the precocity of her sex, quite outstripped us where all subtle social forces are concerned. Although she could be a hoyden still, it was quite as easy for her to assume the part of an elegant young lady, equipped ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878. • Various

... shed was unobserved by them; they knew when their father had lost and when he had won; they knew, too, all the varying moods of his unhinged mind; and in this terrible school of misery they acquired an instinctive intelligence, which in the eyes of strangers seemed mere precocity. ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: German (V.2) • Various

... Kelton's scholarship had descended to Sylvia amusingly. She had never attended school, but he had taught her systematically at home, and his interests were hers. The students attributed to her the most abstruse knowledge, and stories of her precocity were repeated proudly by the Lane folk. Many evenings spent with her grandfather at the observatory had not been wasted. She knew the paths of the stars as she knew the walks of the campus. Dr. Wandless, the ...
— A Hoosier Chronicle • Meredith Nicholson

... even his elder brother "Prosy" shows by his attitude the special notice to be taken of Hans,—it is clear that if this is a portrait-group either it was painted when the boys were actually older, or the younger had already given some astonishing proof of that precocity which his early works display; for in this group the younger boy cannot be more than eight ...
— Holbein • Beatrice Fortescue

... stronger will it be. I cannot refrain from a smile when a sanguine planter informs me with exultation that he has obtained a nut from a tree only three or four years planted out; so much the worse for his chance of success, too great precocity being incompatible with strength ...
— The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom • P. L. Simmonds

... an enfant terrible as he who told the kindly mother, offering to bring her 'Gustus to join him in his play, that "if you bring your 'Gustus here I shall make a slit in him with my new knife, and let out his sawdust"—when, I repeat, we come in contact with such an obnoxious precocity as this, what word can describe him so satisfactorily ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... college Cambridge. At this seat of learning he remained three years, during which, besides exhibiting his powers of memory and application by great proficiency in the ordinary studies of the place, he evinced the extraordinary precocity of his penetrating and original intellect, by forming the first sketch of a new system of philosophy in ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... of our bodies from the bodies of apes is a conception too grossly materialistic for him. Our souls, however, he is quite willing to derive from the souls of lower animals. Obviously we have pre-existed; how are we to account for Mozart's precocity save by supposing his pre-existence? He brought with him the musical skill acquired in a previous life. In general, the souls of musical children come from nightingales, while the souls of great architects have passed ...
— The Unseen World and Other Essays • John Fiske

... assured—memories of touching humility and spirituality. If Abigail Hutchinson strikes us as representing, on the whole, rather a morbid type of human excellence, what are we to say to Phebe Bartlet, who had just passed her fourth birthday in April 1735? (iii. 70). This infant of more than Yankee precocity was converted by her brother, who had just gone through the same process at the age of eleven. She took to 'secret prayer,' five or six times a day, and would never suffer herself to be interrupted. Her experiences are given at great length, ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... to the tomb the gem of a once happy circle, the cherished darling of it, in the person of a beloved, beautiful, intellectually promising, and only son. William Henry had not yet quite completed his third year, and yet such had been the impression created by his manly precocity, his decision of character, perpetual liveliness of temper and manners, and sweet and classic lineaments, and attachable traits, that he appeared to have lived a long time. The word time is, indeed, a relative term, and ever means much or little, ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... Slade made his appearance. His presence caused a marked change in Frank, who retired from his place among the men, a step or two outside of the bar, and did not make a remark while his father remained. It was plain from this, that Mr. Slade was not only aware of Frank's dangerous precocity, but had already marked his ...
— Ten Nights in a Bar Room • T. S. Arthur

... Friend?"; "You're my Baby"; and the ungrammatical "Who Were You With Last Night?" Another great favourite is an involved composition which always appears to begin in the middle. It deals severely with the precocity of a youthful lover who has been detected wooing his lady in the Park. Each ...
— The First Hundred Thousand • Ian Hay

... and likewise hermaphrodite flowers.[572] Azara describes[573] a variety in Paraguay the grains of which are very tender, and he states that several varieties are fitted for being cooked in various ways. The varieties also differ greatly in precocity, and have different powers of resisting dryness and the action of violent wind.[574] Some of the foregoing differences would certainly be considered of specific value with plants in a ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I. • Charles Darwin

... mother "a Randolph"—he had been trained to an outdoor life; but he was also a prodigy in his studies and entered William and Mary College with advanced standing at the age of eighteen. Many stories are told of his precocity and ability, all of which tend to forecast the later man of catholic tastes, omnivorous interest, and extensive but superficial knowledge; he was a strange combination of natural aristocrat and theoretical democrat, of philosopher and practical politician. ...
— The Fathers of the Constitution - Volume 13 in The Chronicles Of America Series • Max Farrand

... world, and succeeded in turning them out affectedly grave and ridiculous little prigs, disdainful of games, absolutely ignorant, without anything spontaneous or boyish about them, and of a desperate precocity. The little Jansoulets were not very happy in this forcing-house, notwithstanding the immunities which they enjoyed by reason of their immense wealth; they were, indeed, utterly left to themselves. Even the creoles in the charge of the institution ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... allowed the free exercise of their intellectual powers, and have finally attained a maturity vigorous alike in body and mind. This is in the nature of a digression, but it can do no harm to call attention thus to the facts which contradict the common notion that intellectual precocity should be discouraged. Nature is the best guide, and it is in accordance with all her workings, that when she has in hand the production of a giant of intellect, the young Hercules should astonish observers by feats of strength ...
— Library Work with Children • Alice I. Hazeltine

... evolve, members of the inferior human races may be expected to complete their mental evolution sooner than members of the superior races; and we have evidence that they do this. Travellers from many regions comment, now on the great precocity of children among savage and semi-civilized peoples, and now on the early arrest of their mental progress. Though we scarcely need more proofs that this general contrast exists, there remains to be asked the question, whether it is consistently maintained throughout all groups of races, from the ...
— Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I • Herbert Spencer

... herself and Alfred she wrote; then, Alfred faded in the background; herself and a certain, new comer prevailed; one Alfred Fanshawe de Bassompierre de Hamal began to reign in his father's stead. There were great boastings about this personage, extravagant amplifications upon miracles of precocity, mixed with vehement objurgations against the phlegmatic incredulity with which I received them. I didn't know "what it was to be a mother;" "unfeeling thing that I was, the sensibilities of the maternal heart were ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... other part of the body. Our business as teachers is always so to stimulate, by proper exercise, the growing organs that they shall grow faster and further than they ever could without our aid. We are not to always hasten it. This is one thing we must bear in mind: precocity is the worst foe of a sound education. It is the boy and the girl who mature slowly but mature surely that in the end possess the earth. We must not hasten the process, but when we find the organ is ready to grow and ...
— Parent and Child Vol. III., Child Study and Training • Mosiah Hall

... twenty-five louis. I answered that we would bargain on that capital point another time, but that we would not touch it for the present. Satisfied with what I said, all the rest was at my disposal, and I found in her a talent which had attained great perfection in spite of her precocity. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... was born October 25, 1800, the son of a wealthy merchant who was active in securing the abolition of the slave trade. His precocity is almost beyond belief. He read at three years of age, gave signs of his marvelous memory at four, and when only eight years old wrote a theological discourse. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, at eighteen, but his aversion to mathematics cost him ...
— Modern English Books of Power • George Hamlin Fitch

... Inspector. "For the matter of that, look at this huge old-fashioned fireplace. A man of extraordinary precocity could climb up the chimney. Or this dumb-waiter on a pulley, for serving drinks, leading down into the maids' quarters. A man of extreme indelicacy might ride up ...
— Winsome Winnie and other New Nonsense Novels • Stephen Leacock

... tall as young Paynter, whose slenderness, however, is like steel. I well remember when Dr. McGee took him to North Carolina and made him over—a weak, irritable little precocity of twelve or so. He never ate or slept in a house for three years, and I think that the birds and trees of that period got into his opera and made it what it is, the musical event of a decade. He works best in Paris, and they will live ...
— Margarita's Soul - The Romantic Recollections of a Man of Fifty • Ingraham Lovell

... other children, the individuality is very marked at an early age. As a rule, the child with the marked individuality is the one from whom the most may be expected later in life. Sometimes this very individuality is mistaken for precocity. This is particularly the case with musicians. In a few instances the individuality of the master has been developed late in life, as was the case of Richard Wagner, whose early individual tendencies were toward ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... Walter Raleigh. He was a younger son, descended of an ancient family, and was born at a farm called Hayes, near the mouth of the river Otter, in Devonshire, in the year 1552. He went to Oriel College, Oxford, at an early age, and gained high praise for the quickness and precocity of his talents. In 1569 he began his military career in the civil wars of France, as a volunteer in the Protestant cause. It is conjectured that he remained in France for more than six years, and returned to England in 1576. Soon after he repaired to the Netherlands, ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8 • Various

... poetic mind already, also, give tokens of that ethereal sublimation in which the spirit seems to soar above the regions of words, but leaves its body, the verse, to be entombed, without hope of resurrection, in a mass of them. Cowley is generally instanced as a wonder of precocity. But his early insipidities show only a capacity for rhyming and for the metrical arrangement of certain conventional combinations of words, a capacity wholly dependent on a delicate physical organization, and ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... can," I returned humbly; and then, as he still looked anxious and ill at ease, I went on, "I do not think you need trouble about Flurry's precocity; children often say these things. Dot, my little brother—Frankie, I mean—would astonish you with some of his remarks. And then there was Jack," warming up with my subject; "Jack used to talk about ...
— Esther - A Book for Girls • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... unremunerative character of scientific work, had a horror of his son's taking to it, especially as in his boyhood he was always constructing ingenious mechanical toys and exhibiting other marks of precocity. So the son was destined for business—to be, in fact, a cloth-dealer. But he was to receive a good education first, and was sent ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11 • Various

... years old, Jeremy gave anecdotes of his infancy to his biographer, Bowring, who says that their accuracy was confirmed by contemporary documents, and proved his memory to be as wonderful as his precocity. Although the child was physically puny, his intellectual development was amazing. Before he was two he burst into tears at the sight of his mother's chagrin upon his refusal of some offered dainty. Before he was 'breeched,' an event which happened when ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... Jane Seymour, over the two princesses, Mary, the daughter of Catherine, and Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn. Edward VI., who was but ten years old at his accession, was weak in body, but was a most remarkable instance of intellectual precocity. The government now espoused the Protestant side. Somerset, the king's uncle, was at the head of the regency. The Six Articles (p. 407) were repealed. Protestant theologians from the Continent were taken into the counsels of the English prelates, Cranmer and Ridley. Under the leadership ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... prescribed portions of the Word of God to memory; and the child soon became intensely interested in the study of the sacred oracles. The questions which he proposed to his father, as he repeated his appointed tasks, displayed singular precocity of intellect; and Leonides rejoiced exceedingly as he observed from time to time the growing indications of his extraordinary genius. But, before Origen reached maturity, his good parent fell a victim to the intolerance of the imperial laws. In the persecution under Septimius ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... proofs of his wondrous precocity; the genuine sailor-poet, Falconer, had lately published The Shipwreck; Laurence Sterne had just collected the materials for his Sentimental Journey; Sir William Blackstone had published his celebrated Commentaries; Wesley and Whitefield had not yet ended their useful career; the star of ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New Series, February 14, 1852 • Various

... alluding to the early proofs of reason, as well as genius, in Cowley, Milton, and Pope, (Many other names might be added.) but only appeal to experience to decide whether young men, who are early introduced into company (and examples now abound) do not acquire the same precocity. So notorious is this fact, that the bare mentioning of it must bring before people, who at all mix in the world, the idea of a number of swaggering apes of men whose understandings are narrowed by being brought into the society of men when they ought ...
— A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Title: Vindication of the Rights of Women • Mary Wollstonecraft [Godwin]

... ha-Shanah. The boy's intellectual capacities were steadily, if not systematically, cultivated, sometimes at the expense of his bodily development. It was not unusual for a child of seven or eight to handle a difficult problem in the Talmud, a precocity characteristic to this day of the children hailing from Slavonic countries. Their 'illuyim (prodigies) might furnish ample material for more than one volume of ...
— The Haskalah Movement in Russia • Jacob S. Raisin

... of 'Polyolbion,' was born in the parish of Atherston, in Warwickshire, about the year 1563. He was the son of a butcher, but displayed such precocity that several persons of quality, such as Sir Walter Aston and the Countess of Bedford, patronised him. In his childhood he was eager to know what strange kind of beings poets were; and on coming to Oxford, (if, indeed, he ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... her children in the strictest propriety, welcomed as play-mates for her dears, whom she had kept away from the contaminating associations of the alleys, Belgian children from the toughest quarters of Antwerp, who had a precocity that led to baffling confusion in Mrs. Smith's mind between parental responsibility and patriotic duty. Smart society gave the run of its houses sometimes to gentry who were used to getting the run of that kind of houses by lifting a window with a jemmy on ...
— My Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... a real boy. He smoked cubeb cigarettes with an almost unprecedented precocity. He nearly learned to chew tobacco. He could snap a sparrow off a telegraph-wire with a nigger-shooter almost infallibly. He had the first air-gun in town and a shot-gun at fifteen. He thought that he was manlier than Drury because he was wiser and stronger. It never occurred to him that ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... thanked me and was about to depart in the same manner in which he came, when I intimated to him my willingness to extend a much greater kindness than my pardon. In short, his offence was punished only by sweet imprisonment in my arms; and delighted with his precocity, I blessed the lucky chance which had so unexpectedly furnished me with a youthful and handsome lover. Ere daylight he departed; and has since then frequently visited me, always gaining access to my chamber by means of the gardener's ladder. To my regret he has of late discontinued ...
— City Crimes - or Life in New York and Boston • Greenhorn

... by his own hand {197} in 1770, at the age of seventeen, is one of the most wonderful examples of precocity in the history of literature. His father had been sexton of the ancient Church of St. Mary Redcliff, in Bristol, and the boy's sensitive imagination took the stamp of his surroundings. He taught himself to read from a black-letter Bible. He drew charcoal ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... has been by many given up, and precocity is discouraged. People are beginning to see that the first requisite to success in life is to be a good animal. The once universal practice of learning by rote is daily falling into discredit. We are substituting principles for rules, as is exemplified in the abandonment of that ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... beating the waves with both hands, dancing about in them a little and dipping herself with pretty movements. She was not a child nor was she yet a woman. She was plump and formed, while preserving an air of youthful precocity, as of one who had grown rapidly, and who was now almost ripe. He no longer moved, overcome with surprise, with a pang of desire, holding his breath with a strange poignant emotion. He remained there, his heart beating as if one ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... greater need; and at the end of October he left Baldovy, accompanied by his nephew, to enter on his academic office. On the way two days were spent in Stirling, where the King, then a boy of nine, was residing; and the Melvilles saw him and were much struck with his precocity in learning: 'He was the sweitest sight in Europe that day for strange and extraordinar gifts of ingyne, judgment, memorie, and langage. I hard him discours, walking upe and doun in the auld Lady Marr's hand, of knawlage and ignorance, to my grait marvell and estonishment.' James ...
— Andrew Melville - Famous Scots Series • William Morison

... instance recorded, on good authority, where a French child but three years old underwent all the physical changes incident to puberty, and grew to be a healthy woman. But what children can surpass the American in precocity? This French child-woman is quite left in the shade by one described in a recent number of a western medical journal, who from her birth had regular monthly changes, and the full physical development which marks ...
— The Physical Life of Woman: - Advice to the Maiden, Wife and Mother • Dr. George H Napheys

... on," said the minister. "I never saw any one change and develop as he has in the last few months. Let me see. He is only eighteen, isn't he, and he might be twenty-one." The minister spoke as if he were not too well pleased with this precocity in Ranald. ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... compare their intellects to a rich tropical plant, which blossoms gorgeously and early, but rarely fruitens. The Southern women are, for the most part, a capable but undeveloped race of beings. With their precocity, like the exuberance of their vegetation, and with their quick, impassioned feelings, like their storm-freighted air, always bearing latent lightning in its bosom, they might become a something rich, rare, and admirable; but, never bringing thought up ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, October, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... famous in a night. Everett had heard that air on guitars in Old Mexico, on mandolins at college glees, on cottage organs in New England hamlets, and only two weeks ago he had heard it played on sleigh-bells at a variety theatre in Denver. There was literally no way of escaping his brother's precocity. Adriance could live on the other side of the Atlantic, where his youthful indiscretions were forgotten in his mature achievements, but his brother had never been able to outrun Proserpine,—and here he found it again, in the Colorado sand-hills. Not that Everett was exactly ashamed of Proserpine; ...
— Youth and the Bright Medusa • Willa Cather

... to be too good; not any better than we ourselves, for example; no, nor even as good. Beware of hothouse virtue. "Already most people recognize the detrimental results of intellectual precocity; but there remains to be recognized the truth that there is a moral precocity which is also detrimental. Our higher moral faculties, like our higher intellectual ones, are comparatively complex. By consequence, they are both comparatively late in their evolution. ...
— Children's Rights and Others • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... home. Though her third year had not been completed when she arrived in America, she retained a distinct recollection of her landing at Charlestown. By her mother she was taught to read, and a well-informed serjeant made her acquainted with writing. Her precocity for learning was remarkable. Ere she had reached her sixth year, she had made herself familiar with the Old Testament, and could speak the Dutch language, which she had learned from a family of Dutch settlers. The love of poetry and patriotism ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... Royal Academy, in Somerset House, during the summer of 1813, and West declared that if Morse were to live to his own age he would never make a better composition. The remark is equivocal, but was doubtless intended as a compliment to the precocity ...
— Heroes of the Telegraph • J. Munro

... priest; he was sent to a school at Twyford, where he is said to have got into trouble for writing a lampoon upon his master; he went for a short time to another in London, where he gave a more creditable if less characteristic proof of his poetical precocity. Like other lads of genius, he put together a kind of play—a combination, it seems, of the speeches in Ogilby's Iliad—and got it acted by his schoolfellows. These brief snatches of schooling, however, counted for little. Pope ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... women and children into a safe retreat, and the men were just beginning to hide the spears, bone daggers, flint fish-hooks, mats, shell razors, nets, and so forth, when Why-Why gave an early proof of his precocity by entering the world some time ...
— In the Wrong Paradise • Andrew Lang

... service when he was five years old; his father was also a shepherd, who owned a small flock, and lived by the wool and the milk, which he sold at Rome. When quite a child, the little Vampa displayed a most extraordinary precocity. One day, when he was seven years old, he came to the curate of Palestrina, and asked to be taught to read; it was somewhat difficult, for he could not quit his flock; but the good curate went every day to say mass at a little hamlet too ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... according to the degree of its infant precocity was divided in three sections. Emmy Lou belonged to the third section. It was the last section and she was the last one in it though she had no idea what a section meant nor why she was ...
— Emmy Lou - Her Book and Heart • George Madden Martin

... of tender years and appalling precocity flourished a pink sheet, smelling of the printer's ink, directly ...
— The House by the Lock • C. N. Williamson

... always used to spend his business vacations at her mother's home in Maine. He had possessed for her that almost hypnotic influence which young men sometimes exert upon little girls. It was a sort of phantom love affair, subjective and fanciful, a precocity of instinct, like that tender and maternal concern which some little girls feel for their dolls. Yet this childish infatuation is capable of all the depressions and exaltations of love itself, it has its bitter jealousies, cruel disappointments, its ...
— The Troll Garden and Selected Stories • Willa Cather

... art—he was insane; and to what extent this mania acted as a monomania, that is, how far he was himself deceived, the world can never know. One thing, at least; it redeems all his faults. Precocious beyond any other known instance of precocity; intensely haughty; bold in falsehood; working best when the moon was at the full, he stands in English literature as the most singular of its curiosities. His will is an awful jest; his declaration of his religious opinions a tissue of contradictions and absurdities: he ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... Maurier tells it. We could quote endlessly from the admirably constructed nursery dialogues in which he does not attempt to make a joke, and in which he very carefully refrains from giving a fantastic precocity to his little characters—dialogues in which he is quite content to rely upon our sympathetic knowledge of children's way of putting things, while he rests the appeal of the drawing and legend entirely upon a naive literalness to their remarks. The charming atmosphere ...
— George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians • T. Martin Wood

... "pestering," like all children who have any great and positive elements in them. I dare say she was disposed, like any other "only child," to be self-willed and selfish, and that she required a fair amount of wholesome discipline, and that she got it. Had she been the prim and pious little precocity which some biographers have painted her, she would have died young, like the "Dairyman's Daughter"; we might have had an edifying tract, and England ...
— Queen Victoria, her girlhood and womanhood • Grace Greenwood

... known as the "Cornish genius" when his first works, executed at the age of twenty, were exhibited in the Royal Academy, was a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds. He was born at Truro in May, 1761, the son of a carpenter. His precocity attracted the notice of Dr. Wolcot ("Peter Pindar"), who ...
— McClure's Magazine, Volume VI, No. 3. February 1896 • Various



Words linked to "Precocity" :   precocious, intelligence



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